I know I've written a fair bit about print mixing and about my love of prints in general. One particular favorite is African prints. I love the vibrant color combinations and the boldness of the prints.
Over the years, friends who know this about me have generously sent African fabrics my way. I have one friend who gave me some skirts she brought back from South Africa and another friend who gave me whole swathes of fabric she collected when she lived in Ethiopia.
I held onto those pieces of fabric, which were varying sizes, and made use of them in a variety of ways. With one small piece, I lined the flaps of the pockets of a black H&M blazer I have. I also did the same with a denim shirt dress and a different piece of fabric (adding a belt as well).
For the longest time, though, I had this massive piece which I wasn't sure what to do with. Then I found some inspiration from Instagram when I saw a picture of two women wearing coords made with African fabric. They had alternated top and bottom. It looked amazing, so I asked my neighbourhood seamstress to make one for me.
Now, not having a second coord meant that I cannot alternate top and bottom. This left me thinking about how I might style this set from time to time to make it look different. The first time I wore it, I wore it with heels and a statement necklace, but kept it basically simple.
When deciding to wear it this time, I thought I'd wear some kind of layer to change it up a little. My initial inclination was to dial down the print and wear it with a more subdued color, a neutral. But that felt too safe and I didn't want to do that.
I noticed that the shocking blue in this print was nearly identical to the blue of my Goods of Desire x Tangram blazer. Going with my instinct to be bold, I wore these two items together. And for a Fall look, I pulled out my booties. I was glad that I'd gone with my gut because the bright outfit felt much more like me...
So, that's my Style Minute tip: Don't feel like you need to tone down prints, especially when you're wearing a head to toe print. Take a risk and turn up the wow factor with more print or more color. I promise you won't regret it.